Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Already!

Happy New Year! 'Cause it's already 2010 here on Okinawa. Lee and I didn't stay too long at the party last night...bit of an Epic Fail on my part because I *hate* big groups and WHY did I think that would be a good idea to go to that?! So we came home after only about an hour and watched Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince instead of partyin' like it was 1999. Much more fun that way, lesson learned for next year.

Anyway, I just realized that I never shared a picture of my 2009 Christmas card, so here it is:

Very simple design this time around since I'm working and taking classes and I make about 60 Christmas cards each year. I used shimmery white cardstock for the main image panel and the inside of the card, so it does have a little something extra without any extra work on my part. Since I was totally enamored with bright colors for most of 2009, I used Green Galore and Melon Mambo, not your typical Christmas colors but I think they work for a subtropical island Christmas card. Here's the inside:

So yep, pretty simple design since I had to make them all very quickly. I already have an idea what I want to do for 2010's Christmas cards, and maybe this year I actually *will* start making them early. Maybe that should be my new year's resolution.

Anyway, I promised kokeshi doll pictures, so here they are!

This was a Christmas present from Lee (who ignored the rule that we don't buy gifts for each other, we just pick out something we both want). The picture doesn't do her justice; she's got kind of a shiny lacquer-type finish and is way prettier than this picture implies.

The two on the left were gifts from Jamie; they are Spring and Autumn from a set of four seasons dolls. The one on the right was a present from Missy, she's a Christmas ornament! She's a bit too large for our tiny tree so she'll just have to wait until next year. I love her little pigtails!

This one was a gift from Amber and was made in the year I was born (which does NOT make her an antique, Amber!!) Amber gave me some information on this doll, including the artist's name but I left it downstairs so it shall have to remain a mystery for now. Heh.

Pretty sure I've already shared a picture of the doll on the right, but I got the one on the left last month and she kind of coordinates with the other doll. Not the best picture in the world though so I may have to go take another one...and you can get a tiny glimpse of the mess that is my craft room right now. Organizing my craft room is high up on my list of things to do, right after "write research paper" although last night I was trying to convince Lee that I needed to do LOTS of things before I write that darned paper, hehe! Last one...

Is she not darling? Your eyes do not deceive you, she leans. I just love her expression and her cute lil pigtails (hmm, I said that about the ornament one, too). And she was only about $12, proof that cute doesn't have to cost a lot when it comes to kokeshi dolls.

So now that Lee is awake, we're going to start the new year off right...we're heading out to the gym, 'cause I would like to start 2011 smaller than I did 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More Christmas Stuff

I'm back with a few more Christmas pictures. My mom was sweet enough to send us a miniature Christmas tree this year since we left all our Christmas decorations in storage when we moved to Okinawa. Lee decorated it while I was in the bathtub on the morning of Christmas Eve.

Like I told my mom, he did a good job...but you can tell it was decorated by a guy *giggle* He didn't put the lights on it, but Mom sent enough ornaments to decorate three trees this size, so I don't think it matters that it's missing Christmas lights. You can't see because of the presents, but Mom also made a blue and white tree skirt for it. Yes, my mom is THAT cool.

This year, Sadie and Vader got into the gift-giving spirit (this must have been before I forced them through the indignity of wearing elf hats and reindeer antlers)--according to the tags on the boxes, they were responsible for giving us this...

We *finally* got a pair of shishi dogs! And these ones don't shed loads of dog hair, either. They're probably at least 18 inches tall...I took a few other pictures of them but none turned out really well other than this next one. They are very cool, so now we just need to clean off the bookshelves in the living room so that they'll have their own place to live.

Lee's trying to think up ways we could put lights on the inside so their eyes (and, I suppose, their noses and mouths) will glow. I think that would be funny.

Speaking of funny...

My dad emailed me this image with the crafty ninjas a while back, and I said that should be on a t-shirt. So here's my crafty ninja t-shirt, is that not the coolest thing? Oh, one more cool thing:

This was made by Jim Shore; you may have seen his work in your local Hallmark store (not that I have a local Hallmark store here on Okinawa, but you know what I mean). He does a lot of angels, Christmas things like Santa Claus and nativity sets, and Disney characters. I have five different Jim Shore Tinker Bell figurines and one of these days I'll get his Maleficent (evil fairy from Sleeping Beauty) because she is *awesome*. So anyway, back to this particular angel, check out the bottom:

Yes, it's SIGNED! By Jim Shore! The artist who created it! He visited my mom's local Hallmark store (because she DOES have a local Hallmark store) so she got to meet him and had a couple of things signed by him. She also had her picture taken with him, and lemme tell you, Mr. Shore has a serious mustache goin' on. I didn't scan in that picture though because we got a new printer/scanner (Mac-compatible) and I haven't bothered to figure out how to scan on it yet.

We got some other fun stuff too, this is just what I took pictures of. Next time I'll have to share some kokeshi doll pictures since I've added several to my collection since the last time I posted any on here ;) Happy New Year to everyone out there in blogland, hope your New Year's celebration is fun and safe. Lee and I will be going to a party tonight but I doubt either of us will drink at all. Maybe we'll take incriminating photographs of the people who do overindulge. Heh. But anyway, for now I need to get working on my research paper. So far all I've done is read some research, I have yet to actually write anything. And I wanna hurry up and get this done, so that's my project for the next four days that I have off work. TTFN!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Howlidays

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was very quiet, just me and Ree and three dogs (we're taking care of Raven while Jamie and Dean are back in the States for the holidays). Didn't take a whole lot of pictures for Christmas but I thought I'd share a few today...I am, once again, procrastinating about writing a paper ;) and I hadn't blogged in a while so here I am.

First up are pictures that my awesome mom sent me. This year I cross stitched presents for my good buddy Liz and my sister-in-law Adrienne, and then I sent them to my mom and she had them framed. These were my two "mystery projects" for this year that I couldn't tell what I was stitching since they were gifts; I stitched Liz's present this summer and started Adrienne's when we were back in Texas for Lee's eye surgery. So here they are, starting with the one for Liz:

Liz looooooooooooves all things fall. My mom sent me this cross stitch pattern a while back with the note that she got it because she thought Liz would like it; I'd had the fabric and thread to make it for a long time but didn't get to it until this year. Mom says the picture doesn't do it justice but I'll have to take her word for it since I didn't get to see it after it was framed. This is my first finished project on linen which will mean nothing to you if you're not a stitcher, but let's just say I generally work on aida so this was a learning experience. The fabric is actually a mossy green color, I don't think it photographed too well.

Here is Adrienne's gift:

Adrienne loves gingerbread houses for Christmas decorations, so this seemed perfect (can't do anything with Santa Claus on it because my brother is afraid of the Man in Red. Seriously.) This pattern was out of one of the British cross stitch magazines; I have to say I like their stuff better than the American ones anymore--the one I get most often is Cross Stitch Gold, and they have a lot bigger and more intricate patterns than the American magazines. This one wasn't intricate at all, it was just a good-size project (about 10 inches square). You can't hardly tell in the photo but the fabric is pale blue and has silver thread woven into it. I only finished this one just before Thanksgiving so I was glad that it got framed in time for Christmas.

I spent most of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day watching movies and stitching so I guess you could say I had a merry stitch-mas :) I'm now working on a project for myself, an orange crate label that is a lot more involved than either of these two projects were. I'll probably start posting status pictures of it after the new year; this is going to be a BIG project but I've gotten a good start on it already. Which is probably why I haven't written my paper yet :p

How about some fun dog pictures? Woohoo!

Jamie, I want you to know that it was a big argument to get even this picture of Raven in an elf hat. For one, the hat is a little too small for his noggin, and for another, he really didn't want to cooperate. You can *forget* trying to get a picture of him with Sadie and Vader in their Christmas finery, that so was not going to happen. I love how Sadie is in the background of this picture laughing at Raven. Just wait, little girl, your time is coming.

See? Bwahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! She's looking at Lee like, "Please help me!" Hey, I didn't get nearly enough funny Halloween pictures this year, so that's why she got stuck modeling an elf hat for Christmas. That and I'm evil. Bwahahahaaa! Oh wait, I said that already.

Vader is generally much more cooperative about these kinds of things than Sadie is. I think once we edit out the white eyes due to the flash, this should go in our Christmas cards next year :) I love it!!

We took one without the flash so you can actually see they're not devil dogs, but it came out pretty grainy. Maybe we'll try this again when it's daylight outside and see if we can get a really good picture for our cards next year :)

I've got a few more Christmas pictures but those will have to wait for another time. Right now, I still have a research paper to write and a bunch of swaps to make, so I'd best hop to it. Happy howlidays!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas in Whoville

So although it is a balmy 70-something degrees here on Okinawa, it is nevertheless beginning to look at least a little bit like Christmas. This island definitely has the green part down :p Mom sent me a ginormous package of Christmas decorations and some presents (which are still safe in their wrapping paper Mom, no peeking on my part!) So check out what my mommy sent me!!

She MADE this for me, it's all cross stitch. Is this not totally awesome?! I've been meaning to make Christmas stockings for Lee and me since we got married and never did find any patterns that I just loved, so I never made any. I was so overwhelmed when we unpacked these that I just totally started crying, much to Lee's consternation. All I could tell him was "I miss my mommy!" So check out Lee's, which may be even more awesome than mine...

As I said, totally awesome! I've spent quite a while staring at them both because they're so beautiful. My mommy is just THAT cool, aren't you jealous? She also sent us a green and red afghan that she crocheted for us and it's gorgeous. It's so pretty that I couldn't stand to only have it out for Christmas time so it's just gonna have to stay out year-round :)

So here's what else we've added to our household in the recent past...

Yep, we joined the Dark Side and got a Mac, which means we had to get a new printer because our old one (which I still really like) isn't Mac-compatible. Annoying. That is a 27-inch monitor, which is how big our first tv was. I'm sure Lee could give you all the specs on what we got but all I know is that it's a Mac, iTunes runs a lot faster, and it's got this cool feature where you can check out movie previews. I'll have to learn how to use it better. For now both the PC and the Mac are hooked up on our computer desk, although they've swapped spots since this picture was taken. I like to imagine that they play Battleship while we're at work during the day.

Seems like I've been working nonstop for about the last month, putting in extra hours after work just trying to catch up, *and* I've been trying to read for my class, *and* Lee's parents were here for a week and I didn't want to ignore them in favor of work or class (although I did have to go in to work a few times and I skipped out on going to the aquarium one day so I could read for class). I had my last in-class session for this term today, so now all I need to do is write my research paper (yeah, that's *all*, snort!). But our instructor has worked it so that we should turn it in as soon as possible, but theoretically we have until the next term ends (like, in March) because we all have incompletes until we turn in the paper. I'm still going to try to knock mine out as fast as I can so it's not hanging over my head since I'm taking next term off from school and I want to enjoy myself :)

Here's a few more pictures because Liz requested them...we went to a holiday party last night for Lee's work. Lee did a picture slideshow and I provided the music (or at least, my iPod did). So here's a couple photos from the par-tay:

Jamie and Margaret, hey for once you get to see their beautiful faces rather than their toes :) They're part of the regular group that goes to Cocok's with the silent k together. Here's the shot that would be going in my Christmas cards, if I hadn't already sent them out:

Hm. I've got kind of a funny look on my face in this one. Wait a minute, maybe it was *this* one I was going to send out...

Haha, the patented Ree and Christy self-portrait strikes again!

Part of the annual Christmas party involves a fundraiser wherein several people have to dress up in costumes. I'm not so sure what the rules are, but I want to say that the person with the most money and the person with the least money in the fundraiser both have to dress up as different things, but somehow they end up with three people in costume so like I said, the rules are fuzzy. So here's this year's lucky three:

Santa's lost weight. Wonder what his workout regimen is like.

We also had a Christmas fairy! She was a really good sport about this, she even sprinkled pixie dust on everyone as she walked around in her fairy costume. The angle on this photograph isn't the best though, it looks like she's wearing that entire chandelier on her head.

And here's Lee's boss. Now you can see what it would look like if Peter Pan *did* grow up. Last year, the winner (loser?) who wore the fairy costume was this big hulking DUDE, so he looked really great with the fairy wings and antennae. This fundraiser netted about a grand, so not too shabby, huh?

Ok peeps, gotta go. We're late for a dinner date. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Da Bella Blog Hop!!

Welcome to da Bella Birthday Bash blog hop! If you didn't already, you should go to the start of the hop at Da Queen Bella's blog. If you've been following the hop all along, you should have arrived here from Karen's blog. I hope you're enjoying the hop and all the lovely eye candy on display today!!

I was worried I wouldn't have time to make a new card for the blog hop, but I managed! This is the first stamping I've done (other than Christmas cards) for what feels like a very, very long time, I miss it! Wish I'd had time to do a few more cards with some of the other fabulous lines that Stamping Bella carries, but I decided to stick with the original Bella:

This is Balloonabella. I paper-pieced her dress using Eskimo Kisses paper from Basic Grey, and the layout is a Mojo Monday sketch from a while back. I colored in her skin, hair & accessories with Prismacolor pencils. Pretty simple and straightforward. I wish I'd been able to take a picture of her when it was light outside but I didn't finish putting the card together until after sunset...it may be morning in the States, but where I am it's Saturday night!

There's mooooooooooooore! To celebrate Stamping Bella's third birthday, Da Queen Bella herself Miss Emily is giving away *three* gift certificates of $100 EACH at the Stamping Bella store! We don't know where the gift certificates are hidden, so be sure to leave comments along the way as you hop so you have a shot at one of those fabulous prezzies...I know I will be hopping and commenting, I'd love to have $100 free to spend on Bella stamps! The winners will be announced on Monday, December 7th, so good luck!

Thanks for stopping by, your next stop is Arlene's blog!